rsync Invalid or incomplete multibyte or wide character (84)

You were transferring data from one location to another and stumbled across this one. Basically what it is telling you is that there is something wrong with the character sets. In other words probably different LANG settings from sending to receiving.

echo $LANG

If both sides are the same you need to ask yourself if the data your are syncing is really from the original system or if it got there from elsewhere.

Well however you arrived at the situation we need to get it handled.

Easy solution if you are comming from a foreign code page and need to get it to UTF-8 or if you are coming from a Windows System going to UTF-8. Rsync has got you covered with: –iconv


One of those most likely covers your copying from a NTFS partition.

Now if you are really into some other code pages, then this will turn into a trip to Las Vegas most likely and your guess is as good as mine.

Do really check what files rsync is bothered about. Because if there are Stars (*) or question marks (?) in the file names, then this error will show as well and „iconv“ will not be able to help you as this is a shell globbing issue. Best here in my opinion is to figure out how they got there and first handle it on the originating system.

Of course you can give it a shot with:

set -o noglob

Yes, I too found that one for this situation via google. But this really only affects the system you are on. I did not get it to grip syncing from a remote system. But then again I guess I did not have the nerve anymore in the middle of the night.

So if you got some more on this subject, post a comment or write me directly.